I would not recommend Rodinal for 35mm Tri-X unless your trying for a certain effect and wish for grain. Your development time is about 2.5 min longer than the charted suggestion of 10 min at 20c. If you are scanning film the combination is bad. On the other hand Ralph Gibson http://www.ralphgibson.com/ uses Rodinal with 35mm. His images are contrasty and often show some grain.
The link above mentions how Rodinal depresses middle values. Mike Johnston makes an important point how the Film/Developer/Paper (FDP) combination is linked to the final image.
The previous poster mentioned film developers which improve sharpness and mid tone values vs Rodinal. Another is Xtol diluted up to 1:3. It is sharp but not in the same class as his suggestions. Development time for Tri-X 135, EI 400, 20C is 12.50. You can shoot at EI 200 without adjusting the time if easy on agitation. Xtol at 1:2 is the dilution I typically use. Time at 20c is 10.5.
If you develop with Xtol or D-76 it's recommended to use 500ml per roll of undiluted stock chemical when developing at 1:1 dilution or higher. That recommendation includes Rodinal but I confess to using 7.5cc of stock Rodinal with 17 oz of water.
I like Xtol but 5L is more stock developer than I use in 12 months.
Indeed XTOL 1+3 is both sharp and very fine grained. Graininess varies widely depending on development time though. I am using it more and more for contractions with 35mm, rating 100 speed films such as TMX at EI 32-50 and it is the closest thing to grainless I have ever observed, smoother even than super-fine grain developers such as Perceptol, while also being sharp. For low contrast development in any film format, XTOL/TMX is about the closest thing I can think of to the illusive silver bullet - excellent tonality, exceedingly fine grain, high sharpness.
As Michael writes XTOL is sharp. The Kodak tech web site lists XTOL's improved attributes over D-76. What Kodak doesn't mention is XTOL's shelf life is longer; maybe by 50% over D-76. The original published times were 1:1 to 1:3 with different EIs. Lots of options. Although XTOL is sharp, Rodinal looks different. I just developed FP4 (EI 64) in Rodinal 1:75 for 11 min, 20c. That combo looks very nice. The negs show good shadows and brilliance without being contrasty. Proof is in the printing which has to wait a few days.
I'm glad you're getting closer to obtaining the results you were looking for. :)
This is an amazing article! Thread has been dead for a year but I hope it somehow gets listed on new posts? I have an extreme backlighted situation -- snow. The article has a less extreme example and suggests Rodinal at 1+75 for only 9 mins. Wow, my bottle says 1+50 for 14 mins. Is 1+75 for 9 mins really OK?
I love Rodinal and don't find it too grainy. I use it with HP5 at 1+25, never any weaker. Any attempts to get really grainy (like with 1+15) seemed to fail but I do like the overall textured and sharp look I get. Certainly the Tri-X of today seems resistant to grain and is always crisp, polite and kind of technological looking in Rodinal.
I like using the original WW1 era Rodinal from Adox. APH 09. Probably just out a sense of romance.
Thanks for the link.
Today's films are vastly different from those available in 1979. So I doubt the relevance of this article. It may be interesting from a historical viewpoint.
Im finding it hard to consistently get the tonal balance I'm looking for. This month I tried to match FP4, condenser light source, Ilford Galerie G3, and Rodinal. Kinda frustrating but not ready to give up yet. I want sharpness with shadow detail in zone 3 to 4 and good mid tone separation while not blowing out highlights. I may be asking too much. You can get good highlight detail but I believe with these parameters mid tones will sag.
What happens if you develop FP4, EI 64, Rodinal 1:50 for 9m and let it stand for 3m. Will that increase shadow and low mid tone detail?
The article examples show strong back lighting and high light compensation. Rodinal's place is not to be a sharper D-76 but a developer to tame highlights.
About the times. I have a few images in bright Oklahoma summer light where 11m development time, ratio 1:75, FP4, EI 80 or 64, 20c, produce a neg either a tad under exposed or under developed. The negs print on grade 3 or 3.5 on a condenser. I don't use the articles recommended agitation so my results can't be directly correlated. However, I believe the articles times may be a bit short for today's FP4. Still a starting point. Note the article guidelines for using different times for different light and enlarger light sources.